Swiss report debates carbon-related impact of recycling vs. landfilling PET bottles


A new research report from an international consulting firm says that unless the yield from recycling PET bottles is 50 percent or greater, disposing of the bottles in a landfill will lead to a lower carbon footprint.

“Recycling is definitely not always the lowest environmental footprint,” said Eric Johnson, the Zurich, Switzerland-based research analyst of SRI Consulting and author of the report, PET’s Carbon Footprint: To Recycle or Not to Recycle. “You need to look at what happens to all the plastics collected.”

“For recycling to make sense from a carbon footprint standpoint, you need to get back at least 50 percent of the material you collect. For every 100 tons you collect, you need 50 tons to come back and go into resin for products,” said Johnson...
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